Exiled chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crazybirdlady99, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. crazybirdlady99

    crazybirdlady99 New Egg

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    Jun 30, 2016
    Hello all!!

    We have 5 Plymouth hens and 1 rooster. Last Thursday, during the day I noticed 1 of the hens was missing. She showed up today after being gone for several days. Now she is being picked on by the other chickens and even a few of my Runner ducks chased her, which has never happened before. She is now missing again.

    Do chickens/birds exile one another? Could she be hatching eggs? Where do chickens nest, in tress or on the ground? If she is nesting in the wild should I try to move her and the eggs to the coop?

    Sorry for all the questions but I'm at a loss.

    Thanks so much!!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    It does sound like she could be broody and have a nest somewhere. Other birds will often fight and chase broody hens because of their odd behaviors. Is she puffed up and clucking when you see her?

    Most hens will lay off the ground, but some will do it on the ground. They need to feel safe so they are usually somewhere covered. If you want her to hatch than I wouldn't move the nest if that's what is going on and let her continue.
     
  3. crazybirdlady99

    crazybirdlady99 New Egg

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    Thank you so much!

    I did notice she looked puffed up too!:D
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    The thing is being she was gone, the flock does not remember her..During her time away the pecking order changed..You will have to catch her and put her in a look no touch pen for a week or so and reintroduce her as a new bird...Chickens do not think like people...

    Good luck..
     
  5. crazybirdlady99

    crazybirdlady99 New Egg

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    Ah, okay. That makes total sense. Thanks chickens really!!![​IMG]
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    No problem...Now to catch your hen...Best of luck!
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    If she's sitting on a nest of eggs somewhere than you will kill the unhatched chicks if you disrupt that and catch her. Other hens fight with broody hens, it has nothing to do with pecking order, it's just what happens. Find the nest first before doing anything.
     
  8. crazybirdlady99

    crazybirdlady99 New Egg

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    Oh definitely not going to catch her unless I can get her eggs too. She was back again yesterday for food, water and a dust bath. I fed and watered and stood watch so she could have some peace. Birds are awesome!! I love this.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hopefully soon she shows up with a clutch of chicks.
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I am also voting broody hen. Next time you see her, watch her from a distance so she doesn't know you're watching her. Broody hens are secretive and will not just lead you right back to their nest. She may wander around, waiting for you to get tired of stalking her. What I have done is, once I figure out where the suspected broody is going, I wait until the next time she comes out to eat and then go check to see if there is a nest. If you don't feel she's in a safe place with her nest, it is an option, of course, to move hen and nest, but you could lose the whole clutch if she flips out and doesn't want to stay with them. (I've had it go both ways when I've moved nests. One would stay put, another went nuts and broke all her eggs. Both were moved at night, in the dark.) You could also try to secure the place she's in, making sure she still has access to food and water and a chance to stretch her legs.

    Hens of any breed can go broody. Some are just more prone to it than others. Some who aren't known for broodiness apparently don't read the same books we do, so they don't know they shouldn't. [​IMG] They are, as Ridgerunner says, living animals and there's no guarantee.

    ETA - in my experience, I've never had a hen just disappear for no reason. They are flock animals, and generally even the most picked-on ones stay with the flock, even if they keep to themselves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
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